Nani went off to her ‘Teerth Yatra’ which took about 4 days. These 4 days at RM were in direct contrast to the 4 days which Nani spent at Mumbai. Arnav was in full attendance and on his best behavior and Khushi was over the moon, she couldn’t stop smiling or thanking DM, it was as if those 4 days had never happened.
He cut down on his work, got work home and generally rearranged his schedules to suit her timings. He patiently listened to her anxieties over AKC management, even landed up at her kitchen and spent hours closeted with Ramiya and Khushi trying to understand the workings of her business, offering suggestions and solutions. But the best moments were of course by the poolside. Sometimes he worked while she sat quietly, munching on chanas. Yet they spent hours laughing, chatting, squabbling and quarreling, and of course kiss and make up.
Once Khushi even dozed off while he was busy tapping away on his laptop. She woke up to find him gazing at her tenderly, “Kya hua?” she murmured, he shook his head, “Nothing, was just remembering Holi, you looked just like this,” he too spoke in a low tone as if afraid to break the spell, she looked back at him her eyes soft, “You did remember what happened that day didn’t you?” she accused softly, he brushed away a curl and shrugged, “You too lied didn’t you?”
“Aapko pata hai,” Khushi clasped his hand with both her hands, “The memory of that day helped me through many difficult days.”
“I know Khushi,” said Arnav regretfully as he put his other hand over hers, “I am sor…”
“Hum aapki shikayat karenge,” Khushi cut in hurriedly, she didn’t want to tread that path again and regretted her words, “Chottu ya phir Chotti….”
“Chottu!” Arnav cut in, “Chotti! No way Khushi, I will never allow those names! Can you imagine his or her plight? Ask me, Di calls me Chotte in front of everybody, so damn embarrassing. Kya status reh jaati hogi Arnav Singh Raizada ki in front of his subordinates and colleagues to be addressed as Chotte, pffft, Di ko bol bol kar thak gaya main, do din Arnav bulakar wapas Chotte par chali jaati hai,” Arnav was disgusted.
Khushi burst into laughter, “A…S….R,” she scoffed and dared to pinch his cheeks, “ho toh aap CSR hi na! aur ab Totte!,” she went off into paroxysms of giggles.
Arnav looked at her ruefully, even as his heart rejoiced at the pure joy in her beautiful face and shook his finger at her, “Dekha, this is the reason I dont want any Chottu or Chotti, and that is final,” He glared at her, “I am warning you Khushi, jab Chottu ya Chotti will be old enough to lead AR Designs, tab dekhna…”
“AR Designs kyon AKC kyon nahi?” Khushi sat up, she put her nose in the air, “Chottu or Chotti will be head Chef at AKC!”
“Head chef!” Arnav was astounded, “AR Designs ka CEO kyon nahi?”
“Kyon chef main kya burai hai?” Khushi shot back.
“Koi buraai nahi hai, par Arnav Singh ka beta aur Chef!” Arnav clearly wasn’t too pleased.
“Oho,” Khushi latched on immediately, “achcha gender bias!” she screamed, “Beti chef toh theek hai, hai na,” she accused hotly.
“Aisa kuch nahi hai Khushi,” Arnav hastily defended himself, “ok ok let’s drop it shall we, that we will leave to the child, but no Chottu or Chotti I am again warning you,” he picked up her hand and said in a placating tone, “You know if we decide on names now, this problem of Bunty Babli wont arise right?”
Khushi glared at him, torn between continuing the argument to get the bottom of the matter regarding their (yet to be born) child’s profession (!) and maintaining peace and harmony, she prudently went with the latter (she too was learning!).
She softened and confessed, “Actually I have thought of two names, one for a boy and one for a girl.”
Arnav surreptitiously crossed his fingers, “What?” he questioned half-fearfully.
“Gajodhar Singh Raizada,” said Khushi solemnly, “If it is boy and if it is a..”
“Gajodhar!” burst out Arnav while Khushi was hard put to curb her giggles “Kyon? Achcha nahi laga kya?” she asked innocently, “I am a big fan of Raju Srivastav and woh hamesha Gajodhar bhaiyya ki baat kartein hain toh humne socha…”
“Tumne socha!” Arnav exclaimed his expression thunderous, “Why not Raju then or even better, Salman Singh Raizada? Haan yeh achcha rahega,” Arnav was at his sarcastic best.
“Achcha, theek hai theek hai, how about Poppat?” she made a peace offering, “Kitna achcha lage ga na board par likha hua ‘Poppat Singh Raizada’ kabhi kisi ki nazar nahi lagegi,” she clasped her hands in joy, while Arnav’s face was a study.
“Khushiii!” Arnav aggressively shook his finger at her, “Tumhari himmat kaise hui yeh sochne ki main itna bewakoof hoon that I will be taken in by your shenanigans?” He winked at her and his voice dropped to a whisper, “Agar tum hoshiyar ho toh hum ussue bhi zyaada hoshiyaar hain,” he put his hand on shoulder, “Kya hua? Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada ki bolti bund! Aisa toh pehle kabhi nahi hua eh?” Arnav was clearly enjoying himself.
Caught in the act, she smiled ruefully at him, he flicked her nose, “Dont try and act smart with me, mat bhoolne ki main Arnav Singh Raizada hoon!” he declared rather arrogantly.
“Haan haan hum jaante hain” Khushi made a quick recovery and waved her hand at his face, “Par aap yeh mat bhoolna, humare pass usse bhi bada naam hai!”
He burst out laughing, “Koi dhang ka naam hai to batao.”
She snuggled up to him, after a while she said, “I thought Devansh if is a boy, we could call him Vansh or even Ansh?” She looked questioningly at him, he pursed his lips and said, “Not bad Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada, Devansh Singh Raizada, or even Vansh Singh Raizada, both are good, we could call him Ansh at home?”
She nodded happily, “And if it is a girl?” he asked curiously.
“Anika, yeh DM ka ek aur naam hai,” she rushed in, he shrugged, “And who can argue with that right?”
She made a face, “Aapko achcha nahi laga?”
He grinned, “Aha caught you!” he gloated, I was just taking revenge for trying to fool me with your nautanki,” he softened, and hugged her, “No actually I like it too.”
Relieved, Khushi came up with several other names of her choice, and to her surprise even Arnav came up with a few that had her in a dilemma, Aayush (after them) and Danya (in honor of Anya). She nibbled her fingers and ultimately decided to take the final call later. She leaned against him and softly murmured the names to herself.
Nani returned from her trip with dher saraa ashirwaad and Prasad from Devi Maiyya. Nani had a good time, health and weather had been on her side, they had taken the chopper and all the arrangements were excellent, she regaled Khushi with her experiences and promised to show her the photographs which Asha’s son had taken.
Nani was excited; the panditji had fixed the date for the Godh Bharai for two weeks later. Nani had invited Anjali along with her family over to RM for lunch and to help her plan the event. She was determined that everything should be perfect, bas ab bahut ho gaya, she wanted Khushi to be really khush and only khush, her grandson notwithstanding, she huffed. She invited Anjali over for a family dinner to discuss the ceremony.
Click here for Chapter 141